How Runtown contributed to the spread of the pon pon sound
This is how Runtown contributed to the spread of the pon pon sound
In 2016, Runtown was part of the group that pioneered a fresh wave of alkayida-influenced afro sounds, and here is how Runtown contributed to the spread of the pon pon sound in the Nigerian music industry.
It’s the same sound that gave birth to such hits as “Mad Over You.” The sound, later christened ‘pon pon’, became the rave of the town and for a year Runtown kept making hits with that same mid-tempo template.
It was a real paradigm shift and the industry followed suit with most artists (including rappers) switching up to do the bestselling sound of that time.
But Runtown didn’t even come in 2016. Way back in 2013, he had a hit with Davido (“Gallardo”) which he traded for Davido’s smash hit, “Aye.” So, no, Runtown is not a new kid at all. All of his songs are bangers and there’s maybe only a handful of artists that can battle him for hits in today’s industry.
Here is what we consider his top ten songs of all time.
Body Riddim feat. Bella Shmurda, Darko Vibes
This one came during the lockdown in 2020. And although the real star of the show was Bella Shmurda who was in his freshman year, it was Runtown’s song through and through.
Bend Down Pause feat. Wizkid
Runtown has two songs with WizKid and the two of them are absolute bops. This one, “Bend Down Pause” was on Runtown’s debut album, “Ghetto University.”
“Bend Down Pause” is a dancehall hit that has all the elements of dance hits from way back.
Sarkodie — Pain Killer
The only guest feature song on the list, “Pain Killer” is just one of those songs that made people think nobody has anything on Runtown.
On “Pain Killer,” he made a perfect laid-back low tempo Afrobeats track. Sarkodie came and did his rap. The rest is history.
International Badman Killa
By 2018, Runtown was still very much one of the top men in the music industry. He could still make a hit in his sleep.
But I bet nobody can make a hit like “International Badman Killa” while sleeping. It’s a monster hit and only Runtown makes stuff like that.
Lagos to Kampala feat. Wizkid
“Lagos to Kampala” is that Wizkid precursor to “Ojuelegba.” The song is a single from Runtown’s 2015 debut album.
This was also the song where Wizkid said that popular “solo tell me say I no go blow” line.
The Banger feat. Uhuru
Uhuru infiltrated Nigerian music around 2014 with House-influenced fast-paced afro-pop that quickly became the signature mark of every hit. He worked with everyone who would work with him around that time.
Runtown’s hit with Uhuru, “The Banger” is exactly what it’s called. A pure banger. The dance floors, the clubs, and the streets all turned up to this one back then. Even the TVs and Radio wouldn’t stop playing it.
Gallardo feat. Davido
Rumour has it that Runtown gave Davido his song, “Aye” just to get him to do a verse for him on the album.
The song Runtown and Davido did together turned out to be “Gallardo.” You gotta understand, that there were no hits bigger than “Gallardo” in 2014.
This was the direct follow-up to his smash hit, “Mad Over You” and they were released during the same year.
“For Life” is a much more refined version of the alkayida sound he had been experimenting with. This one was a mad hit in those days.
Mad Over You
“Mad Over You” is one of those songs that are catchy from A-Z. I mean, who couldn’t sing it all back then?
The instrumental was purely spiritual and the lyrics were basic enough that anyone could sing it. After creating one of the best choruses ever made, Runtown wove the song with three exceptional verses that are just mindblowing.
Since then, a lot of Afro-pop songs have been made, but only very few have been able to even make half the impact “Mad Over You” made.
It shouldn’t be surprising at all that this is number one on the list, this is the ultimate Runtown song for sure.
“Energy” has the correct kind of instrumental and on it, Runtown talked about his lifestyle in one of the best performances from a male artist in a while. Even back in 2017, that was a big deal!